Britain's Disappearing Nuclear Power
David Toke discusses nuclear power in the United Kingdom
Gas by David Toke
At the end of 2010 the Government announced plans for an allegedly revolutionary ‘Electricity Market Reform’. This was chiefly concerned with an objective of incentivising a programme of building ‘cost-effective’ new nuclear power stations that were deemed essential to keeping the lights on. Yet now the plans for new nuclear power plants are falling apart. It seems that they are neither more cost-effective than alternative renewable sources, nor are they essential to keeping the lights on. The reason for this apparent policy failure is because the evidence was never seriously considered. Rather the Government is dominated by embedded pro-nuclear interests which select the evidence to suit their policy preferences for what has been called the ‘nuclear renaissance’. Meanwhile the UK is falling behind many other countries in the efforts to expand the provision of clean, sustainable energy.